Photos: Fishmongers mourn Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji fish market closure

Updated On Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

Hundreds of fish traders are reluctantly packing up and preparing to leave Tsukiji, the 83-year-old fish market, a popular tourist attraction. Tsukiji is a warren of shops and warehouses where small turret trucks zip around laden with ice-filled boxes of fish. But city officials say it has become dilapidated and unsanitary. More than 80% of Tsukiji fish traders are opposed to the move but move they must.

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A wholesaler takes a break after trading ends at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. Takako Arai’s (not pictured) earliest memories are of Tsukiji, playing hide-and-seek with her brother in the concrete maze of Tokyo’s sprawling fish market. Years later, she now runs the family’s seafood stall that sells mackerel and yellowfin tuna. (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

A wholesaler takes a break after trading ends at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan. Takako Arai’s (not pictured) earliest memories are of Tsukiji, playing hide-and-seek with her brother in the concrete maze of Tokyo’s sprawling fish market. Years later, she now runs the family’s seafood stall that sells mackerel and yellowfin tuna. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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An early morning view of the market. Arai and hundreds of other fish traders are reluctantly packing up and preparing to leave Tsukiji this week for a gleaming new $5 billion market on reclaimed land farther from central Tokyo. “I feel torn. I grew up here and I feel like we’re losing so much of our history by leaving this place,” said Arai. (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

An early morning view of the market. Arai and hundreds of other fish traders are reluctantly packing up and preparing to leave Tsukiji this week for a gleaming new $5 billion market on reclaimed land farther from central Tokyo. “I feel torn. I grew up here and I feel like we’re losing so much of our history by leaving this place,” said Arai. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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People work at the Tsukiji market on October 27, 1977. The 83-year-old market, a popular tourist attraction, is a warren of shops and warehouses where small turret trucks zip around laden with ice-filled boxes of fish. But city officials have said it has become dilapidated and unsanitary. (Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Handout via REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

People work at the Tsukiji market on October 27, 1977. The 83-year-old market, a popular tourist attraction, is a warren of shops and warehouses where small turret trucks zip around laden with ice-filled boxes of fish. But city officials have said it has become dilapidated and unsanitary. (Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Handout via REUTERS)

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Tuna fish are landed from boats at the market in Tokyo on December 8, 1988. Many fishmongers want to stay in this area where they also live. They worry about contaminated soil at the new site in Toyosu, and the difficult commute to the new market. More than 80% of Tsukiji fish traders are opposed to the move, said a survey by a group fighting the relocation. (Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Handout via REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

Tuna fish are landed from boats at the market in Tokyo on December 8, 1988. Many fishmongers want to stay in this area where they also live. They worry about contaminated soil at the new site in Toyosu, and the difficult commute to the new market. More than 80% of Tsukiji fish traders are opposed to the move, said a survey by a group fighting the relocation. (Tokyo Metropolitan Government/Handout via REUTERS)

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Yamaguchi, who has been tending her family's fish shop for more than 50 years poses at Tukiji market. In a last-ditch bid to delay the move, 56 traders sued the city of Tokyo last month, seeking a temporary injunction. They have asked the court to rule before Tsukiji closes on Saturday. If there are no delays, business will resume at the new Toyosu market on October 11, but traders worry customers will not follow them. (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

Yamaguchi, who has been tending her family's fish shop for more than 50 years poses at Tukiji market. In a last-ditch bid to delay the move, 56 traders sued the city of Tokyo last month, seeking a temporary injunction. They have asked the court to rule before Tsukiji closes on Saturday. If there are no delays, business will resume at the new Toyosu market on October 11, but traders worry customers will not follow them. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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75-year-old Tai Yamaguchi takes part in a rally. Some 300 fishmongers and activists voiced their anger during a protest at Tsukiji last Saturday, chanting “Toyosu No No No,” and waving banners saying “Stop the Relocation!” “We finally made Tsukiji a famous brand and now they’re trying to destroy it,” said Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns one of Japan’s largest sushi chains. (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

75-year-old Tai Yamaguchi takes part in a rally. Some 300 fishmongers and activists voiced their anger during a protest at Tsukiji last Saturday, chanting “Toyosu No No No,” and waving banners saying “Stop the Relocation!” “We finally made Tsukiji a famous brand and now they’re trying to destroy it,” said Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns one of Japan’s largest sushi chains. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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A wholesaler takes a break after trading ends at the Tsukiji fish market. Arai (not pictured) whose family have been fish traders for 95 years, said buyers have already told her the new site is inconvenient. “They say they’re going to buy from other markets nearer to their restaurants,” she said. “What can I say? They’re business people too.” (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

A wholesaler takes a break after trading ends at the Tsukiji fish market. Arai (not pictured) whose family have been fish traders for 95 years, said buyers have already told her the new site is inconvenient. “They say they’re going to buy from other markets nearer to their restaurants,” she said. “What can I say? They’re business people too.” (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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A wholesaler pulls a cart of frozen tuna. Tsukiji feels like a village with its own medical clinics, a bank, library and shops, but with some 40,000 workers and tourists passing through on its busiest days. In its final days, the market is still a frenzy of activity. (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

A wholesaler pulls a cart of frozen tuna. Tsukiji feels like a village with its own medical clinics, a bank, library and shops, but with some 40,000 workers and tourists passing through on its busiest days. In its final days, the market is still a frenzy of activity. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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Men unload, sort, pack and display thousands of cartons of white boxes filled with fresh fish and seafood trucked in from ports across Japan. During the early morning auctions, traders use hand signals to buy and sell fish. The day’s catch is typically carted to a hangar where traders sell their seafood to buyers strolling down the chaotic cobblestone walkways under large store signs. (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

Men unload, sort, pack and display thousands of cartons of white boxes filled with fresh fish and seafood trucked in from ports across Japan. During the early morning auctions, traders use hand signals to buy and sell fish. The day’s catch is typically carted to a hangar where traders sell their seafood to buyers strolling down the chaotic cobblestone walkways under large store signs. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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Wholesalers check the quality of fresh tuna at the market. The relocation plan has been delayed many times since it was conceived 17 years ago. In 2016, toxic substances were found in soil and groundwater at Toyosu, once home to a gas plant. Tokyo spent an extra 3.8 billion yen to dig hundreds of wells to pump out groundwater. In July, the new site was declared safe. (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

Wholesalers check the quality of fresh tuna at the market. The relocation plan has been delayed many times since it was conceived 17 years ago. In 2016, toxic substances were found in soil and groundwater at Toyosu, once home to a gas plant. Tokyo spent an extra 3.8 billion yen to dig hundreds of wells to pump out groundwater. In July, the new site was declared safe. (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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Koji Amano (not pictured) one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, started working at Tsukiji after dropping out of high school. As he filleted a hulk of tuna with a sword-like knife, Amano was resigned to Tsukiji’s fate.”They’re determined to move us out,” he said. “So there’s not much we can really do to stop them.” (Issei Kato / REUTERS) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Oct 04, 2018 10:31 AM IST

Koji Amano (not pictured) one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, started working at Tsukiji after dropping out of high school. As he filleted a hulk of tuna with a sword-like knife, Amano was resigned to Tsukiji’s fate.”They’re determined to move us out,” he said. “So there’s not much we can really do to stop them.” (Issei Kato / REUTERS)

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